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Postgraduate Student Life: Five Tips for Settling In

It can be difficult settling back into student life, particularly if you’ve spent a few years working before returning to university for a postgraduate course. After putting years into a career, going back to university can even feel daunting if you’re not prepared for the changes in your life. However, there will be plenty of other students in a similar situation to you, and talking to them can help you not only feel more comfortable, but you’ll be able to learn from their experiences as well. If you need a few more tips on how to make the transition from employed worker to postgraduate student, read on to find out our top five suggestions. 

1. Develop a routine 

One of the benefits of employment is that most jobs require structure. This might not be the case on a postgraduate degree. Research courses in particular, like PhD and doctorates, will predominantly be filled with personal study time with no set routine. Some students will find it difficult to function without a defined system in place. 

To combat this, you should develop your own personal timetable allocating times for eating, sleeping, studying, attending lectures and for socialising. It also helps to have a specific bedtime, and a set time for waking up every morning. 

2. Get involved in university life 

Many students on your postgraduate course will have similar interests, and often there will be social activities organised by the course providers, students or university social clubs. This will give you plenty of opportunities to meet your new classmaates and make friends. 

If you really want to embrace student life, then you should get actively involved in societies at your university. Not only does this allow you to meet new people, but it will also look good on a CV. 

3. Keep an eye on your money 

It’s incredibly important that you keep a keen eye on your money, particularly when you’ve previously been receiving a salary but are now being supported by a postgraduate loan. 

There are many ways you can save money as a student. If you’re living with other people, buying food in bulk which will keep costs down. Make sure that you shop around or search for deals when looking to buy course materials. A student discount card will also entitle you to savings at various retail stores and on public transport. 

Go to: Read more tips on How to Save Money as a Postgraduate Student

4. Work experience opportunities 

Postgraduate students are often encouraged to seek work experience within their chosen sectors. This will increase your employability after graduation and will also provide you with a greater insight into your chosen industry. 

The people you will be on work experience with will be an amazing source of knowledge. They’ll be able to share their experiences and pass on information that they learnt while at university or in their career. 

Similarly, you’ll also have the opportunity to obtain a strong reference from an industry leader, which you will need when you start looking for work. 

5. Develop your academic writing skills 

As well as attending lectures and classroom sessions, most postgraduate courses require students to write essays on a broad range of subject areas, so developing your academic writing technique will be an invaluable exercise.  

At the beginning of the course, you are also likely to be given a list of assessment objectives that your assignments will be marked on. Keep this in mind while you are writing the essay. 

If you’re out of practice, then this is likely to be one of the more difficult tasks. However, your tutors are there to help, so it is worthwhile asking them to read your work in order to ensure that you are on the right path.  

Next: Read more postgraduate life advice


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